‘It’s killing everybody’: Sacramento restaurant won’t comply with order as it struggles to stay afloat

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Mandarin Restaurant owner Michael Helmrich said he can’t afford to follow the state’s order to shut his Sacramento restaurant down except for takeout and deliveries.

“We can’t survive. I’m down 70%,” Helmrich said.

He said he will keep his restaurant open with indoor dining and continue with all the safety guidelines of wearing masks and maintaining 6 feet of separation.

“We all need to do what we need to do to survive. We’re gonna be open, too,” said Roger Saini, the owner of 500F Pizza x Tap House. “But we’re only takeouts and deliveries. And hopefully, we can weather this storm again, like we weathered in the past.”

The latest order kicks in Thursday just before midnight.

Helmrich said they are “doing everything we can,” including spending money on his outdoor dining setup to make it safe and comfortable.

“I support and I understand why you need to stay open for yourselves, for your families, for your employees who have been devastated already by previous shutdowns,” said Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City.

Assemblyman Gallagher pointed out that the state’s public health officer said there’s no science behind banning outdoor dining. But it was a way to stop people from going out in public.

“It’s also made worse by the governor’s hypocrisy on this issue,” he said. “He himself was going out and dining. Many other public officials have been caught doing the same exact thing.” 

“These places have been open for so long. You can’t do that, you’re hurting people,” Helmrich said. “I’ve got my employees who depend on me and I have three households that depend on my place.” 

“It’s killing everybody,” he continued.

“I support them staying open and staying economically viable,” Gallagher said.

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